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GLIN==> Polychlorinated dibenzo-dioxin/furan downstream from Dow

February 23, 2004

Contact:  Patricia Spitzley
DEQ Preliminary Soil Sample Results from Residential Properties Located 
Within the Tittabawassee River Floodplain Continue to Identify Dioxin 

On Friday, February 20, the Department of Environmental Quality sent owners 
of residential property located within and along the Tittabawassee River 
floodplain the preliminary dioxin concentration results identified in soil 
samples collected from their property.  These preliminary results are 
consistent with the results of prior floodplain soil samples, collected by 
the DEQ since December of 2000.  It was found that soil located within 
portions of property downstream of Midland that is or has been subjected to 
frequent flooding by the Tittabawassee River is contaminated with elevated 
concentrations of dioxin.

During the spring, summer, and autumn of 2003, as a part of its continuing 
effort to understand the extent of dioxin contamination along the 
Tittabawassee River floodplain, the DEQ sampled residential properties 
located within and along the Tittabawassee River floodplain downstream of 
Midland.  The preliminary sample results indicated the following:

*  Portions of property subjected to frequent flooding by the Tittabawassee 
River contain elevated concentrations of dioxin.  Concentrations ranging as 
high as 5,660 parts per trillion (ppt) of dioxin toxic equivalence (TEQ) 
were identified within frequently flooded portions of property.  The DEQ 
has currently established that dioxin concentrations below 90 ppt TEQ in 
soil are acceptable for human direct contact for residential property.
*  Portions of property located outside of the floodplain, or those 
portions of property located within the floodplain that are not subjected 
to frequent flooding because of filling activities or local topographic 
features, do not contain elevated dioxin concentrations.
*  Portions of property that are not subject to flooding, but have received 
soil fill material collected from frequently flooded areas within the 
Tittabawassee River floodplain, contained elevated dioxin concentrations.

The DEQ is continuing with its evaluation of the data and will work to keep 
property owners informed of any additional findings.  In addition, the DEQ 
is sharing this information with the Department of Community Health to 
assist the DCH in its ongoing efforts to evaluate human health concerns 
related to Tittabawassee River floodplain dioxin contamination.  The 
residential soil data will also be placed on the DEQ webpage at 

The preliminary residential soil data continues to emphasize the importance 
for owners of Tittabawassee River floodplain property to follow guidance 
previously provided by the DEQ, the DCH, and the Department of Agriculture, 
related to limiting contact with dioxin contaminated soil, gardening within 
dioxin contaminated areas, and moving or otherwise disturbing dioxin 
contaminated soil.  These advisories continue to be available on the DEQ 
webpage or from the DEQ Saginaw Bay District Office, 503 N. Euclid, Bay 
City, Michigan; or by calling Sue Kaelber-Matlock, DEQ Remediation and 
Redevelopment Division, at 989-686-8025, ext. 8303.


Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy,
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com

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